Between 7.3-7.4

[reblog of a Tumblr post I made on my personal blog]



Also applicable as :tattletale:.

In case sharks didn’t make it clear, Grue was confirmed to be the scentless man in the chapter, you just missed it. He mentions that he was the one to rescue Bitch after Bakuda, whereas it was stated in 4.11 that Grue did so. This is the reason people didn’t think it should count as a spoiler. Do you consider it to be a spoiler if we remind you of information from previous chapters you forgot? If so, I think a lot of the stuff sharks had let through are spoilers.


The reason most people didn’t consider the “scentless man” thing a spoiler is that it’s just based on community consensus from the passage in question, not on any future twists or word of god from Wildbow.

(separate anons)

Yeah, fair enough. Sharks also mentioned that first thing after my first response on this topic.

Reminders in general are fine – might want to keep it a little vaguer, maybe (for example, pointing out the evidence instead of going directly to the conclusion), but in retrospect, this wasn’t really spoilery.

That said, this is one of many gray areas when it comes to ask screening. I know from experience that it’s not always easy to decide whether or not to send an ask in, but I trust Sharks to make good judgement calls on a case by case basis.


It never really becomes relevant, but Bad Canary was the stage name Paige used. She dropped the Bad after her arrest. The lack of relevance is probably why Sharks let that fanart through.

[Discord] Sharks:

It was why I let that through.
Every time in-story, that I can recall, she’s called Canary.

Ahh, I see. Yeah, I suppose leaving “Bad” in one’s stage name doesn’t look good in a trial, or in the media during an arrest scandal. Though I could see both the prosecution and the media discussing it anyway.

[I didn’t realize it at the time, but Sharks’ wording here kinda indicates that she does get (at the very least) mentioned again later on, which hasn’t happened yet by the point I’m at. So I guess this is a delayed-reaction spoiler??]


A correction to a previous asker: the Judge did NOT say that Paige’s crime was an accident. Given that she was found guilty (of assault, not negligence) it’s almost certain that the judge was sentencing her on the basis that her actions were deliberate.

Also, they had good reason for denying Paige in-person access to a lawyer: her power lets her control people! Including lawyers! (Although they should definitely have gone to more effort to accomodate her – video+text conversations rather than email, for example.)

Hmm, yeah, that first thing is a very good point. As far as the court is concerned, she meant to do what she did – though the jury did conclude that she did not mean for it to be lethal, which it fortunately wasn’t – and so the sentence must be interpreted from that basis. It’s still unfair and biased (and if she’d been given a fair trial the court may not have come to that conclusion in the first place), but it’s a little more understandable when you keep that in mind.

As for the lawyer thing, I’m not really sure how much it would matter if her own lawyer were vulnerable to her singing, but with creative or reckless use of the power, I suppose it could be a problem. And that’s before considering the possibility of defense lawyers having more duties I wasn’t familiar with, like juror selection was until one of the asks about this topic showed up. But yeah, video+text conversations would work better, or just giving Paige one of those tinkertech text-to-speech machines another asker suggested for her trial a while back.


[Below is a series of asks on the consent issue, followed by other asks. There will be another bolded comment like this at the end of this sequence.]


[consent discussion cw] I’d say Heartbreaker’s power is analogous to a powerful addictive drug. Injecting someone with an addictive drug without their permission is not OK. Using a person’s drug addiction to manipulate them is skeevy at best, at worst outright blackmail.

[rape, horror cw] Plus, from Alec’s description of his power it wouldn’t necessarily erase e.g. loyalty to a spouse, just create an emotion so strong as to override it, so there’s potentially a part of these women screaming internally with guilt. With all that said, I guess the sex itself is just like giving drugs to an addicted person – assuming escaping the addiction isn’t an option, it’s not inherently wrong in itself.

The drug comparison is yet another reason why I asked the question in the first place. If you look at it more like being under the effects of the drug at all times, the victim is not in a proper state to give consent, and under all laws I’m familiar with, having sex with a drugged or drunk person is automatically rape (especially if you were the one drugging them in the first place).

That said, comparing the effects of the power to an addiction does seem rather fitting too. As you somewhat implicitly point out, it’s a desire they can’t control, even if their other emotions and rational thoughts go against it. (I’ve had similar experiences due to ADHD (I once took a Minecraft boat and went

I’m not sure I’d always agree with the statement that giving drugs to an addicted person isn’t inherently wrong, though. Even if getting out of the addiction isn’t an option, there’s a certain balance to be drawn between the adverse effects of abstinence versus the adverse effects of the drugs.

Not to prolong the discussion, but consider this: let’s say Heartbreaker compelled someone to do something perfectly innocuous but that they wouldn’t have wanted to do (e.g. clean his bathroom). I’m sure you’d agree that that was in itself a major ethics violation. But compelling them to have sex is on a different level altogether, and I’d say it’s because you’ve got both the compulsion AND the rape, two separate wrongs in one act. To treat it as only compulsion is wrong.

I’d also like to point out that we don’t need superpowers to deal with situations where consensual sex count as rape: look at cases of teachers with underaged students. In some cases the students can coherently argue for their own agency, but because of the power dynamic there we still consider it rape. I’d say the same is true for Heartbreaker.


The case described in part 1 is not rape, but it’s still a form of… enslavement, I suppose. Still terrible in its own right. And then there’s the case in part 2, in which the power dynamic is so skewed that it’s considered rape pretty much by default. That also ties in with emotional abuse, which I’ve compared this to before.

So yeah, I agree, both of these cases are in play as useful analogies when it comes to Heartbreaker.

To further complicate an already very complicated issue: what about when the person who has sex w/ the altered person (or any kind of relationship, really) isn’t the same person who did the alterations? Say for example that Heartbreaker just increased someone’s desire for a relationship, but didn’t make it specific to him. How ok would it be to start a relationship with his victim? Even if the victim ‘consented’, it’s ambiguous.

This is one of the reasons I was somewhat uncomfortable with unambiguously calling it rape in the first place. I mean, of course what Heartbreaker is doing is rape, but what about someone in this situation? Someone who didn’t cause the change, and hell, might not even know about it?

That’s a whole lot more ambiguous, and rests on whether we consider the victim unable to consent in general or just unable to consent to Heartbreaker specifically (or even able to consent to anyone, including Heartbreaker). In the first case, even if the victim manages to escape despite the permanent attraction to Heartbreaker and move on with her life, any sex she chooses to have after it will still be considered non-consensual.

I don’t have a good answer here. For the canon scenario where Heartbreaker restricts it to himself, the second approach seems more relevant. But in the scenario you present in the ask? I have no clue how to deal with that.

Something that should be kept in mind in the whole Heartbreaker discussion is that Parahuman law is very much done on a case by case basis. There is no standard for dealing with mind control cases, because despite being pretty different powers, “hypnotic suggestion” and “permanently reprogram the personality of someone” both count as mind control.

Yeah, parahumans are way too varied to not do it on a case by case basis.

In fact, it almost seems like the majority of parahumans have unique powers – though there are plenty of parahumans carrying some of the most common powers, such as the Standard Alexandria Package (SAP), forcefields or super speed, there’s usually some sort of quirk to the specifics of how they work – Narwhal’s forcefields bypassing the Manton effect, Velocity’s super speed coming at the cost of his ability to affect the world, Glory Girl’s SAP coming with a body-covering forcefield instead of invulnerability, Tinkers having specialties – or an additional power that sets them apart from everyone else with that powerset (Glory Girl’s angelic aura on top of her SAP). Some powers are similar enough that the Protectorate can classify them systematically, but there’s still lots of variation that the system can’t describe.

That said, I’m talking with a limited set of data here. There may very well be hundreds or even thousands of people with the same powersets worldwide, and the story just hasn’t had a reason to bring that up. Still, this is how it looks right now

[End of the consent discussion for now.]

Sirius is Latin for “dog”. J.K. Rowling isn’t very good at naming things. It’s Wolfy McIsawerewolf all over again.

Yep – Dog Black the Black Dog, friend of Wolf Wolf the Werewolf. Though to be fair, unlike Remus, Sirius decided on the animal he’d turn into himself, so it’s possible that he did this on purpose.

But yeah, Sirius as a name for a dog is fairly normal, I think. I wouldn’t have given it another thought had he not been described specifically as a black dog.

(#i wonder if remus lupin is a friend of moon moon)

Rachel may not have actually gotten distracted; dogs lock eyes and then whoever looks away first is showing submission!

Yeah, maybe that’s what happened there. It’s kind of ambiguous, possibly because Rachel wanted it to be. Plausible dogniability, y’know?

83 or HC is for Heil Caesar, iirc, I think Kaiser is an alternate spelling/pronunciation of Caesar?

Ah, yeah, that makes sense. Far more than “Heil Christ”, at least.

“Kaiser” is the German word for “emperor”, and does have it’s origins in the name “Caesar”, which in its original Latin would be pronounced similarly (KYE-sar rather than English SEE-sar – compare with the German pronunciation of “Kaiser”, KYE-ser).

Julius Caesar himself never officially had the role (he was “dictator for life”, although that didn’t last five years before he was killed), but Augustus, the one who actually turned the Roman Republic into an Empire, turned his adoptive father’s surname into a title for the emperor. Nowadays a lot of languages – Norwegian included, with “keiser” (KAY-ser) – use descendants of that title as their word of “emperor”.

Of course, it’s still kind of odd that they’re not using 8-11 instead, but fair enough.

(By the way, that last post does not count for “looks up a word” on the bingo. Other than the exact duration of Julius Caesar’s reign, that was all stuff I already knew.)

Dogs triggering is supposed to do something against dog abuse? Why, Taylor, humans triggering didn’t really stop Emma and the others from making your life miserable. Mankind is dumb, simply put.

You’re not accounting for the relative Carrie factors. Taylor could resist temptation and keep herself from using her power on her abusers, but to what extent can we expect dogs to do the same?

That said, I don’t think it would stop dog abuse entirely. That would just be unrealistic.

If it makes you feel any better, you’re not the only one with a fucked up sleep schedule. Wildbow’s been consistently finishing and posting chapters at like, 6 or 7am his time for the past year or so. 🙂

Hah, nice. A nocturnal individual, much like myself!

I’ve got to admit I’m kinda sad that Sharks gave into pressure and told you about the Scentless Man thing because I was looking forward to you still making Scentless Man theories through the end of the book.

Hehe, yeah, that’d be kinda funny.

New theory: The scentless man is the leader of the Triangle Clan!

This is something of a liveblogging community in-joke, so for context:

While liveblogging Steven Universe, @zephyrthejester got the idea that there was a Triangle Clan of gems all the way back in S1E8, Serious Steven. He then failed to notice increasingly obvious evidence that this wasn’t the case, and held on to the idea right up to the end of season 2.

Later, on the same April Fool’s Day I did my “Interlude 2”, here’s what Zephyr was doing

I’m pretty sure Rowling said that you can’t choose what your animagus animal will be.

Huh, really? I could’ve sworn I remembered the opposite from somewhere in canon. Then again, you guys know how forgetful I can be sometimes, so maybe I was misremembering.

Are you sure it wasn’t about patronuses, though? Those definitely aren’t a personal choice.

The scentless man incident raises questions on what exactly constitutes a spoiler. I generally define them as things that make your experience of the work match less closely than what the author intended, by which light telling you something the author meant to be obvious can’t ever be a spoiler. But if you subscribe to a more “death of the author” view you might see it differently. I do agree that drawing attention to set intended to be subtle can definitely be a spoiler.

In fact from a certain perspective pointing out something you were supposed to get that you missed is the opposite of a spoiler, since it brings you closer to the mindset/amount of knowledge that the author intended.

Yeah, under that definition it’s not a spoiler.

Personally, when screening for Minda and encountering this kind of gray area, I kinda tend to lay weight on what makes for the best experience, both for Minda and the audience, though there’s no clear catchall rule.

Ultimately, I’m leaving it up to Sharks to decide where the boundaries lie and what constitutes a spoiler. After all, I can only speak as someone who’s not read the entire story, which is the whole point. I can’t be asked if I consider something a spoiler without that thing being told to me (which is what happened in this case), and once it’s been told to me, I still have a limited perspective on how spoilery or non-spoilery it actually is.

As a starting point, though, I guess I’ll say that anything storywise that I couldn’t/wouldn’t reasonably figure out if I were reading serially at the time of the latest chapter’s release (ignoring the fact that I’d be 14 at my current point in the story), or rereading with my current knowledge in mind, is a spoiler. Word of God might be an exception to that, but that’s up to Sharks.

(And no, the scentless man is not covered by that definition either.)

[reblog of the ask about animagus forms not being something you can pick]


they’re probably thinking of patronuses, because i distinctly remember that wormtail became a rat specifically so he’d be able to deactivate the whomping willow. and sirius became a big dog to help wrangle lupin when he was all wolfy.

Ah, yeah, sounds about right.

That last bit about Sirius kinda goes against the suggestion the ask was in response to – that Dog Black becoming a Black Dog might’ve been on purpose on Sirius’s part – but… I suppose it might be both things. :Åb

2 thoughts on “Between 7.3-7.4

  1. […] “[I didn’t realize it at the time, but Sharks’ wording here kinda indicates that [Canary] does get (at the very least) mentioned again later on, which hasn’t happened yet by the point I’m at. So I guess this is a delayed-reaction spoiler?]” Guess you forgot about the part of Dragon’s interlude where she looked in on The Birdcage, then? […]


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